Over the past years graduates and employees of the Institute for Geoinformatics have founded many successful enterprises whose commercial model is based on research results and research projects from their scientific work at ifgi. Here we are giving you a short overview and introduction on some of these enterprises.
Reedu GmbH & Co. KG
Reedu GmbH & Co. KG is the spin-off from ifgi’s GI@School actitivies and especially the senseBox project. The start-up company is based in Münster. The company offers products, concepts and services in digital education and citizen science following its claim “reengineering education”: from development and design of open-source hardware and software, over creation of educational concepts and resources, to coding workshops and hackathons for teachers and children. The most well-known product of Reedu is senseBox, available as senseBox:home – a DIY environmental station for citizen science, and senseBox:edu - a hardware set used in universities, schools and in private education. Both sets consist of a microcontroller, several sensors (e.g. temperature, light, air pressure, air quality etc.) with a focus in photonics and an internet connection (e.g. WiFi, LoRa etc.) to upload measurements to the product’s IoT platform openSenseMap. Other services in the senseBox context are visual programming interfaces and dashboards. Many of the Reedu employees have a background in research at the Institute for Geoinformatics at the University of Münster, therefore a close R&D cooperation exists until today. The skillset in the company is technical driven by software and hardware engineers with a lot of experience in product design and citizen science. Reedu employees with an educational background perform workshops and create educational content framing the products.
con terra GmbH
con terra's core competence comprises the whole spectrum of methods and tools used in the manufacturing of IT solutions in the field of geodata processing. This includes all the semantic, structural, and pragmatic aspects of collecting, managing, analysing and displaying spatial data, as well as training and consultancy activities in the field of geoinformation systems. The enterprise was founded in 1994 by Dr. Albert Remke who is still connected to the Institute as a honorary professor.
Within the scope of the Open Source Initiative 52°North con terra maintains an intensive cooperation with the Institute for Geoinformatics and occupies among his 180 employees also numerous ifgi graduates.
52°North Spatial Information Research GmbH is a private, non-profit research institution that supports open science through open data and open source software developments. Building blocks are the development of spatial research data infrastructures and the efficient processing and analysis of geospatial data to enable rapid information retrieval. Together with the Institute of Geoinformatics, 52°North develops methodological-technical innovations for the development of open research data infrastructures, as well as the analysis of geo-data, and integrates them into practical solutions.
The Institute of Geoinformatics and con terra GmbH jointly founded 52°North as an initiative in 2004. In 2005, the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC, University of Twente) joined as a partner, as did the Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. (ESRI) in 2006. Since its foundation, 52°North GmbH has evolved from an initiative for open source software to an institute for applied research. 52°North actively participates in publicly and privately funded research and development projects and provides professional services, training and workshops.
proPlant was founded in 1996 as a result of a long-term cooperation between the agricultural commission of North-Rhine Westphalia and the University of Münster. One of its co-founders was Prof. Dr. Ulrich Streit, also founder and first director of the Institute for Geoinformatics. proPlant designs and develops innovative software solutions that are tailored to practical field conditions and requirements. Its main product, "proPlant", is a standard in crop consulting and professional arable farming.
In February 2016 proPlant has joined the Bayer AG and operates as Bayer Digital Farming GmbH.
Millenia GmbH was specialized in developing applications in geospatial services for mobile devices and e-commerce. It was founded by Dr. Yaser Bishr in the year 2000 when he worked as an assistant professor at the Institute for Geoinformatics. After developing first solutions for location bases services, Millennia and its assets where merged with Image Matters LLC in 2001.